Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gardening ideas - herbs for the kitchen/fresh munchies for the kids

I rarely (if never) repost an idea from someone else, but this is such a fantastic idea that I really felt that I should.

We are getting to that time of year where we need to start planting and potting all of the foods that we want to incorporate into our recipes and this is a great way to recycle and make something really quite pretty.

From I give you: Potted Pallets.

I see this on my porch PDQ along side my soon to be potted parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, chives, peas, lettuces, greens, blah-da-blahda-blah.

 Anyhoo, Enjoy.

Mom's Tip
Let your kids, little and not so little, help in the planting process. This will give them a sense of ownership of the project and will almost guarantee that they will eat and enjoy the fruits of their labor. And what could be better that fresh picked strawberries out of their own strawberry pot with their morning yogurt?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Garlic Parsley Spaghetti

You know when you look in the fridge and nothing, and I mean nothing looks good? When you really don't want those leftovers, or that flavor right then? That happened to me the other night, in spades. Lorelei, David (my sweetheart), and I had had a wonderful day. We three were busy playing music and generally goofing around when I looked up at the clock and realized how far past dinner time it had gotten. I needed something fast and I wanted it to be light. This is what came out of my head... and my fridge.

Garlic Parsley Spaghetti (with a celery twist)
The thing I really liked about this recipe is that in the time it took to boil the water and cook the noodles, dinner was done.

serves three-four people

Spaghetti noodles
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup of the light green, leafy stalks in the center of a large celery stalk, chopped
1 stick Butter or 1/2 cup of olive oil (I did a mix of both)
Freshly cracked pepper

Set to boil a large pot of well-salted water. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the parsley, garlic, and celery hearts (stalks, leaves and all). Then, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat (or add the olive oil), then add the parsley and celery, salt and pepper. Let that cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and stir regularly, so as to not let the garlic burn. When you're water in boiling, cook up the noodles, strain and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and voilà!! Dinner is served.

Mom's Tip
I like using the light, tender parts of celery stalks for recipes like this or for those that ask for parsley. It adds a sweet, light note to dishes and uses up a part of the stalk that might otherwise go to waste. It's also another way to sneak in some veggies to your diet. (Always good for me.)


Friday, February 10, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup - So Easy!

I found myself facing a glut of broccoli the other night. You see, both my boyfriend (yep... you read that right! Not so single anymore. Yay!!!)  


... both my boyfriend and I bought giant bunches of broccoli and it needed to get used up ASAP! I've never made broccoli soup before but I thought I would take a stab at it.

Here's what I did:

Diced 1/2 an onion and a couple ribs of celery then sauteed that in some olive oil. I threw in a pealed and diced Yukon Gold potato and let that sautee along side the aromatics. (I thought that the potato would add some heft to the soup, and it did. Yum!) Next in, 2 1/2-3 cups of diced broccoli and a box of chicken stock and a generous pinch of salt.

I let that simmer over medium heat for a good long while, lice 20-30 minutes, then brought out my trusty Braun Hand Blender (you know, the one I got from the infomercial oh so many years ago.) Buzz, buzz, buzzed the soup to make it creamy. Then I added about 1/2 a cup of cream, freshly cracked pepper, and some freshly grated nutmeg. Let that simmer until the rest of dinner was cooked (sauteed petrale sole.) Tasted for seasoning and voilà!

Cream of broccoli soup.